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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

C-Libre questions alleged suicide of Honduran journalist investigating killing of colleague




C-Libre, a Honduras-based organization promoting freedom of expression, is questioning the suicide of journalist Aldo Calderón, who was investigating the killing of his colleague Anibal Barrow.

Calderón, a journalist with Canal 11 and Diario Tiempo, died on July 15 after ingesting aluminum phosphorus.

A commissioner with the country's National Police told C-Libre that one day before his own death, Calderón talked about inconsistencies in the ongoing investigation into Barrow's kidnapping and murder.

Barrow's body was found on July 10 after a two-week search. According to the organization, Calderón briefly posted a note on the internet that denounced the director of the police, Juan Carlos Bonilla, for removing investigators from the location where Barrow's body was located. The journalist also had talked with witnesses who assured him that Barrow was found inside a vehicle, despite the official version that states the body was abandoned near some sugarcane fields.

Anibal Barrow. Photo: La Prensa.

More details regarding the circumstances surrounding the crime have continued to emerge. According to the call history from his cellular phone,  Barrow, a reporter for the Globo TV network, received nine calls from a deputy candidate with whom he had arranged to meet near the Olímpico stadium in the city of San Pedro Sula on June 24 at 2 p.m. At that moment, Barrow and two relatives were abducted by three unknown subjects, according to the newspaper La Prensa. Barrow's body was found 16 days after his disappearance but a protected witness stated that Barrow was killed the same day of his kidnapping, according to El Heraldo.

Accoding to the case's court records, the journalist received constant threatening messages and calls several days before he was killed, reported La Tribuna newspaper.

Currently four people have charged with the actual killing of Barrow but the authorities have not identified who ordered the crime. Barrow's case makes it 29 journalists who have been killed in Honduras since 2009.



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